Heat waves and hurricanes: Extreme weather expected to continue in the SCV

A thunderstorm cell hovers over Santa Clarita from Skyline Ridge Road in Saugus, Calif., on Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022. Chris Torres/The Signal

A historic heat wave that has brought broiling temperatures and flex alerts to the Santa Clarita Valley over the past week is forecast to come to an end this Friday, but due to one of the more unlikely reasons to local residents: Hurricane Kay.  

While triple-digit temperatures and the chances of voluntary power shutoffs are expected to last through Friday evening, meteorologists with the National Weather Service reported Wednesday that “remanent moisture” from the category 2 storm heading toward Mexico’s Baja California could cause thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the Santa Clarita Valley.  

“The latest forecast from the (National Hurricane Center) has the center of the storm reaching Encinitas, Mexico, then turning left,” said Todd Hall, an NWS meteorologist, referencing that Kay would more than likely not have a direct impact on northern L.A. County. “But so far as what we should expect locally, yes, we’re going to see some of the showers and thunderstorms associated with it.”     

Centered approximately 200 miles southwest of Mexico’s Baja California and having maximum sustained winds of 100 mph, Hall said Hurricane Kay will likely follow historic climatological patterns and move out over the Pacific Ocean before ever reaching the United States. 

“(Southern California’s) water temperatures off the coast right now are in the low to mid 70s,” said Hall. “So, it seems to make sense that it’s going to want to find the warmest waters and die out as it heads north.”  

However, due to Kay’s size, some of its remnants have a chance to cause showers, thunderstorms and brief heavy downpours throughout Southern California. Hurricane Kay is also expected to churn up the surf along SoCal’s beaches.  

“There is still considerable uncertainty with the track of Kay and exact timing of rain,” read a tweet from the NWS Los Angeles branch on Wednesday. “It could rain as early as Friday night. It will likely rain at least at times Saturday and rain may even linger into Sunday.” 

Specifically for the Santa Clarita Valley, Hall said forecasts show a 60% chance of showers and thunderstorms on Saturday afternoon.  

“But the threat (of rainfall) really begins anywhere between Friday night and then continues into Monday afternoon and evening,” said Hall. “So much of this depends on how (Hurricane Kay’s) track works out…but the period of emphasis really is Saturday and Saturday night.”  

Until then, however, Santa Clarita residents can expect the NWS’s “excessive heat warning” for the region to remain in effect until at least 8 p.m. on Friday, with the highs for Thursday and Friday ranging from 101 to 103 degrees, according to Hall.  

“We’re going to continue to see very hot and very warm conditions continuing probably into the weekend,” said Hall.  

On Wednesday, another flex alert was issued throughout the state with government officials asking residents to voluntarily conserve their power in order to reduce the strain on the state energy grid.  

The possible rainy weekend for SCV residents would be the second in two weeks, and follow Sunday’s “severe thunderstorm warning.” The warning asked residents, as the rain began to fall, to take precautions for “monsoon moisture with isolated showers and thunderstorms” and to be prepared to seek shelter from hail.   

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